I couldn't resist this time - we love you, Canadians! And soon, you will in turn love Motorola, as it is bringing one of CES's most radical and breakthrough Android devices - the Atrix 4G - to The Land Owt & Aboot. Bell, Canada's 2nd largest mobile carrier, put up this "Coming Soon" page (available in French here), promising the Tegra 2 powered laptop commander... well, soon. There is no word on exact availability just yet, but Bell is offering a convenient signup form for when things start moving.
Every month, mobile advertiser Millennial Media releases their Mobile Mix, a report detailing where things stand in the mobile industry. This month marks a significant first, as well as some all-around good news for Android. Their highlights:
- For the first time, Android surpassed iOS as the largest Smartphone OS on the Millennial network, with an 8% increase month-over-month and 46% impression share on our network in December. The iOS currently has a 32% share
- Android ad requests grew 141% from Q3 to Q4 and since January, Android has grown 3130%
- Android devices represented 16 of the top 30 mobile devices on the Millennial network
- When breaking down the revenue generated by apps in Q4—Android had a 55% share as opposed to 39% for Apple.
Android Central has managed to get their hands on an internal AT&T database entry for the upcoming Motorola Atrix 4G - and it looks to be coming sooner rather than later. The image, shown below, indicates a possible launch date of March 1, which is quite a lot sooner than I think many people were expecting.
This is good news for AT&T customers (like myself), as the nation's number two carrier has until recent announcements at CES been the least Android-friendly provider in the US in terms of handset selection. The Atrix 4G is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious smartphones to date, combining dual core Tegra performance with its truly awesome laptop docking station.
Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications and games that went live in the Market or were spotted by us in the previous week or so. This week is relatively boring - don't shoot the messenger!
Looking for the previous week's roundup? Find it here: 30 Best New Android Apps And Games From Last Week (12/28/10 – 01/03/11).
Best New Android Apps
Rope Cut – Cut The Rope clone
Cut the rope by simply swiping your finger across them to deliver the candy to that little python.
In what is the most carefully-worded way of saying "we don't know" I've seen in a while, Asus's UK marketing manager John Swatton has told Pocket-lint that the company's new Android tablets will be shipping with Honeycomb "if Honeycomb is available." The reason for the uncertainty? Swanson seems to be suggesting that Motorola's XOOM has been given special treatment by Google, while Honeycomb remains unavailable to most, if not all, other tablet manufacturers. Swatton says, "When our tablets launch, they will launch with the latest version of Android whatever that is."
Asus's Android tablets, the Eee Pad Transformer and the Eee Pad Slider, will be launching in April and May, respectively.
I'm not really sure how we missed this app when it was released way back in July, because it's damn cool. A company called Directed Electronics produces an automotive remote start kit that's called Viper SmartStart, and the kicker: it's controlled via smartphones. The app was available on iOS and BlackBerry for some time before being released for Android in July, and it's some pretty neat kit - check out the video (sorry, it won't embed because it's unlisted).
You can start your car from your house, then when you get inside your (now warm) car, you can arm the alarm on your house.
Certainly makes sense (get it?), doesn't it. Nearly every EVO owner I know has, at some point or another, complained about the fact that their battery life drops about 5-10% as soon as they unplug it. Well, it turns out that's because of there's an overcharge protection chip inside Li-Ion batteries.
XDA user willy900wonka decided to tear his extended EVO battery apart, and lo and behold:
What I found was that a 8205 chip is used to provide protection and prevent over charging and over-discharging. Here is a quote from a google search.
S-8205A/B Series Applications-Optimized-Battery-Protection Circuits.
All contained voltage detectors are of high precision between 15mV and 100mV depending on the function.
By now, you've probably heard of SwiftKey, an alternative keyboard that predicts what you are typing based on statistics and personal history. The company is planning on making an ever bigger splash in the world of Android by going the same route as Opera: creating an app specifically for Android tablets.
Still in prototype form, the keyboard includes the same text prediction that has made SwiftKey so popular, but takes advantage of the tablet's larger screen size (in this case, a Galaxy Tab; we'll have to wait and see how it works on upcoming 10" tablets) by splitting the keyboard into two sections, with a keypad, including arrow keys, in between.
As Android's market share continues to grow, it is inevitable that it will become a target for viruses and other malware. Indeed Steve Chang, the chairman of Trend Micro, a provider of security software, cautioned that Android is far more susceptible to malware attacks than iOS.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Chang claimed that Android's open source infrastructure allowed hackers to better understand the underlying architecture and source code. In contrast, Chang gave Apple credit because he believed that they were very careful about malware and that it was "impossible for certain types of viruses to operate on the iPhone." He explained that Apple uses a "sandbox concept" which isolates the platform, preventing viruses from replicating themselves or decomposing and recomposing to avoid virus scanners.
As far as Android translation apps go, Google Translate is still among the best available - sure, it isn't perfect, but it's free and for the occasional translation it'll suffice. To celebrate the app's first birthday, Google has updated it to 2.0 and added a new feature called "Conversation Mode."
Image Credit: Engadget
Conversation Mode allows you and your foreign friend to speak in two different languages before having Google Translate display the words you say onscreen in your native languages (as seen in the second screenshot above). For now, it only works with Spanish and English, and it has problems with regional accents, background noise, and rapid speech, but it's a start.